Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes that he doesn't have much time to write letters. He has managed to take a couple of long walks on the downs and around Beachy Head and through local villages. Mentions allowance that should be sent home for mother. Exams next week and writes of doing plots of an operation on Munster carried out by Poles from RAF Scampton. Work is harder than Elementary Flying Training School but for less pay.




Temporal Coverage



Three page handwritten letter


IBCC Digital Archive


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Start of transcription
No 1436220 LAC Akrill,
2 Flight. D Squadron,
No 1 E.A.O.S.
Eastbourne. Sussex
Mon. 23.2.42.
Dear Mum,
Guess you’ll have to get letters written at odd moments. I started one to Auntie N. a week ago but havn’t [sic] got it finished yet. Only get barely an hour free most days & if I don’t get much tea that’s half taken up with filling up at the YWCA. Canteen & with the rest I like to get a breath of fresh air.
At the week I had a grand fresh air Campaign. [sic] After tea on Saturday I set out across the Downs & walked along the cliffs & then scrambled down on to the beach & walked right round almost to the lighthouse off Beachey Head. It was the first time I’d ever seen the Head & it was really a wonderful sight. I hadn’t met a soul all the way & by the time I reached the the [sic] Head it was getting dark & the whole thing was rather eerie with the great, white cliffs towering hundreds of feet above the boulders, the sea & the gale making doleful noises. On Sunday I set off in the afternoon & walked mile upon mile until I was dead beat. I went with the intention of some of the little old Saxon Churches in the Downland villages & though I got lost plenty of times I managed
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to reach all the villages I had planned to. They were beautiful little places quite lost among the hills & the churches perfect gems built of downland flint with squat, square towers with red roofs. At first there was cloud & fog over the hills & the wind was terrific. You don’t know what wind is until youve [sic] been on the top of the bleak downs. Later it was brighter. At one time I thought I’d be wandering over the downs all night when I suddenly came on top of a hill & there was the main road back to Eastbourne & so I tramped to it & got a bus back Got a cup of tea at the Churches canteen in the Meth. Chapel & stayed for the service & social hour afterwards, singing until I couldn’t sing anymore having used up all the energy I had left. When I got back I was nearly too tired to get undressed but I must say it was a better way of spending a free day than spending it in the pictures.
I’ve meant asking you about the allowance I’m making home. You’ve not said that you’ve heard anything yet. I believe you should have forms or something sent every week & draw it from the P.O. Its 2/6 a day. I’d better make enquiries at the accounts section as they’ve [deleted] not [/deleted] deducted it form my pay. They’re quite safe for that sort of thing but sometimes a bit slow. If I make an allowance you should be able to get compensation if I ever stop a packet.
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Looking forward to the week-end. Can do with a rest. We get exams next week. Really getting down to work now. We have to know some stuff. Just been doing the plot of the first raid on Münster which was carried out by [deleted] p [/deleted] Poles from Scampton. I’m now doing [underlined] quite [/underlined] 20 times as much work as I did at E.F.T.S. for 2/- a day less! We look like having a spell of cold, fine nights so shall be able to get some star, planet & moon sights taken. I don’t know when I shall get all these stars learned – then there are clouds & things too which have to be known.
Well must get changed for P.T. - & its a good change too from sitting here for hours.
[underlined] Tues [/underlined] Sending dirty pyjams. [sic] off. I want to bring a lot of books when I come home so I don’t think I could manage them.
Think it’s going to be fine over the week-end acording [sic] to our Met. fellow.
Love Bill



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 22, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18012.

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